Sunday, September 24, 2006

Free travel by house-sitting

A few of my friend asked me whether it is possible to have a free travel trip. Well, to say yes for that question is a big lie but there are a few ways to score for a free trip. One is called house-sitting kind of baby-sitting where you will be asked to take up residence in someone else's home for a specified period of time.

Your job is take care of that house and no worries about the rent. Off course you still have to pay for transport and foods but can you imagine how much could be save for lodging if it takes place for a 3 months period. And it is not for everybody: Research, patience, good timing and often a bit of luck and sweat are required.

Instead of waiting for your rich aunt in the Hampton to go away and ask you to watch over her place, look into a service that lists house-sitting opportunities. If things work out, you might be chilling out at a Caribbean villa or caring for cats and hens in an adorable French farmhouse.

Before signing on for any assignment, you as a house-sitter should ask questions. Namely, who pays the bills? Many homeowners state upfront that house sitters pay for utilities, at the least. If there are pets, find out how many and what their special needs are. If there's a garden, ask how big it is and how much attention it requires. At some point, the work may make the "free" lodging not worth the trouble. Also, ask the owner for the names and contacts of previous house sitters, and grill them about the experience.

Where do you find these gigs? Caretaker.org posts more than 1,000 house-sitting openings per year, most of which are in the U.S. ($30 per year to see listings). At last check, housecarers.com listed 226 opportunities, including 82 in Australia ($32). There's also housesitworld.com, where homeowners can search for registered sitters with availability and skills that match their needs ($40). And sabbaticalhomes.com is a site where the houses are all left behind by academics on teaching assignments (free for house sitters, from $25 to post a home).

Link (thanks, Sophie Alexander)

2 comments:

iza said...

cool...
just wonder have u ever house sitting before? :)

Luq Luq said...

emm..still don't have a chance...


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